Monster Yamaha Tech 3 star Cal Crutchlow produced another epic performance on his satellite M1 as he narrowly missed out on a sensational rostrum finish at Jerez in Spain.

Crutchlow, who finished fourth in the opening round of the MotoGP championship in Qatar earlier this month, repeated the feat to add more solid points to the board, but it could have been even better for the British ace as he stalked Repsol Honda's Dani Pedrosa for the final podium position.

However, Crutchlow was unable to make a pass on the factory Honda man and had to settle for a superb fourth, also setting the fastest lap of the race in a time of 1m 40.019s - more than 0.3s faster than factory rider Jorge Lorenzo's best time.

Former World Superpsort champion Crutchlow opted to use the hard compound front Bridgestone tyre and his decision was vindicated as he mounted a strong challenge for a top three finish, with circuit specialist Pedrosa managing to keep the 26-year-old at bay during a captivating duel in front of 103,000 passionate fans.

At the line, Crutchlow was 0.4s behind Pedrosa and 2.465s adrift of race winner Casey Stoner.

"That was a seriously hard race but I really enjoyed it and I am really happy to have finished so close to the podium. One of the pleasing aspects is that I don't really like Jerez that much," said Crutchlow.

"It's a little bit twisty for my riding style and it is only the second time I have raced here, so to come away with a fourth and been within touching distance of my first MotoGP podium is fantastic.

"The Yamaha YZR-M1 was working incredibly well today and I can't say enough about my Monster Yamaha Tech 3 crew. It has been a difficult weekend with the weather but they gave me a great bike today and our decision to run the hard front was definitely the right one," he added.

"I was fourth in Qatar but today I could actually see the winner and there is no reason why I can't be up there battling for the podium from now on. There will still be some races where I won't be that close to the podium but now I know we can be there."

On his relentless pursuit of Pedrosa, Crutchlow said he 'gave his all' to pass the diminutive Spaniard but in the end had to settle for fourth.

"I gave it everything I had to pass Dani but there was nothing I could do. He is phenomenal round this track, so I'm happy to have challenged him so closely," said Crutchlow.

"But he was the better rider today and it was really hard to stay with him. I set the fastest lap of the race though, so that proves the progress I've made since last season."

Crutchlow's team boss, Herve Poncharal, said the Briton has made 'incredible' progress this season.

"What more can you say about Cal? Considering this was only his third time at Jerez and how much experience Pedrosa has riding here, he did a phenomenal job.

"When you finish right behind a rider of Pedrosa's calibre in his home race, you know you have delivered an outstanding performance and Cal did that," he said.

"He never gave Pedrosa one moment to relax and there is nothing more he could have done to try and get on the podium.

"There are so many positive points when you think that he was less than 2.5s behind Casey at the front and he set the fastest lap of the race," added Poncharal.

"This shows he's made incredible progress since last season and I'm sure we are going to be seeing a lot more of Cal challenging at the front in the future."